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Drugs, guns and Mexican vulnerabilities

July 15, 2007

Re "Mexico cartels outgun towns," July 9

I would like to point out the similarities between the problems of illegal immigration and drug-running. In both cases we see the workings of the simple economic laws of supply and demand: We have the demand, they have the supply.

In the case of immigration, no amount of legislation or fence building will change the present situation, although the guest worker proposal was a good start. Until either the demand for workers or the supply by Mexico and other Latin countries dries up, the status quo will hold. As for drugs, only the legalization of marijuana and other drugs will change matters, because the cartels would no longer receive huge profits. In the case of illegal drugs, our endless demand is tearing apart Mexican society.

JULIAN PALLEY

Irvine

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Your article fails to recognize a salient point. In Mexico, private possession of firearms is outlawed in most cases, unless you are rich or politically connected. When narco-terrorists attack a town, as they did at Cananea, there is nothing at all to prevent them from massacring the citizenry. The police are incompetent, outgunned and often corrupt. The law-abiding, unarmed citizens are at the mercy of terrorists who, luckily this time, only went after the police. Imagine if these narco-terrorists tried this across the border in Arizona, where gun ownership is common. I can't imagine it either, because even uneducated narcotics traffickers are not that stupid.

JERRY BOURBON

San Ysidro

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